the holidays are truly a magical time and i love sharing the sense of wonder i see in my boys this time of year. starting at halloween with the quest for a costume, the excitement carries straight through christmas.
when i was a kid growing up in phoenix, halloween was trick-or-treating at grandma and papa’s; thanksgiving was (and still is) my favorite holiday–a time of just being with the people you love the most; and christmas was decorated palm trees and cacti everywhere you looked, fun times with the cousins at one house or another, picking out really fancy, fluffy christmas dresses at irwin’s baby shop, and a magical night when santa brought stockings and one gift (which was weird because grandma jerry and santa had remarkably similar handwriting.) my sister and i would wake up early on christmas morning with our stockings at the foot of our beds and spend the next hour going through them to see what treasures we got. then, we’d go into mom and dad’s room, wake them up and wed ‘ll sit on their big waterbed, sloshing around, and show each other what was in our stockings. i think i miss that tradition the most. there was no snow at our house, but the holidays were magical nonetheless.
now that we have children of our own, christopher and i love the joy we see in their eyes at the first snowfall of the year, their excitement at decorating for halloween, thanksgiving and christmas and the wonder of everyday life as they discover new things. the countdown to christmas is especially fun. we got a sew-it-yourself advent calendar wall hanging from target and the boys “decorated” all the ornaments themselves.
one thing we are going to do this year is start the tradition of the “elf on the shelf.” three seems like a good age to introduce the elf and i want a new encouragement for good behavior. i got our elf (also at target) and just spent some time wiring his arms and legs because i think our elf will be very adventurous and maybe a little naughty. i want the boys to know that even though we and the elf are asking them to be very, very good, that is a lot to ask and we understand if they misbehave. even the elf won’t be able to be good all the time. we will also be receiving a letter from santa on thanksgiving saying that our elf is on his way and to be on the lookout for him. i like the idea of sprinkling the seeds of anticipation at thanksgiving.
i’ve been perusing pinterest for ideas for the elf and ran across this awesome thing some parents are doing to foster a sense of wonder and magic for their children. it made me think of things i can do to foster that in my boys. i think i will adopt the mischievous dino idea and incorporate it throughout the year, not just at christmas.
i want my boys to continue to look at the world through wondrous eyes. i want things to always seem magical and i want their imaginations to bloom. as adults, it’s hard to find the time to see the magic but that is something i want to foster in myself as well. i get a glimpse of it every year at the fourth of july when we stand under the stars and watch the fireworks and when the first snowflakes of the year fall. it wells up something inside me that i remember from being a kid. i never want to lose that and i want to encourage for myself and my family all year long.
what do you do to encourage a little magic in your life?